For Ricardo Vaz Te, returning to action after ten weeks out with a dislocated shoulder - two weeks ahead of schedule - should have been a day full of positives.
Instead, the popular No12 was almost inconsolable after his second-half miss saw West Ham United fall to a 1-0 Barclays Premier League defeat at Reading.
While he clearly did not intend to head Matt Jarvis's late cross wide from six yards, the winger felt the need to apologise to Sam Allardyce, his team-mates and West Ham United supporters for passing up the opportunity to net a deserved equaliser.
"I'm just very disappointed with the result, especially after coming on and having a great chance to score," he told West Ham TV. "I felt like I should have done better and I should have scored. There was no excuse for that.
"I'm just really disappointed I couldn't make it for the lads, really. I felt like I let everybody down and I'm just going to try to do better next time. I'm glad to be back and I want to regain my place again."
Even when he was reminded that every associated with the club would not blame him for heading his chance wide, Vaz Te felt his miss overshadowed the positive impact he made on the game on his return.
"I know you can look at that, but I know that alone is not good enough. It was a great chance - the easiest chance I will ever have to score and I should have put it in the back of the net.
"I'm obviously very disappointed so I'm going to strive to do better next time. I'm going to keep work and keep improving and as my fitness picks up, I will surely do better.
"I was just very disappointed to let the team down."
Having not played any reserve-team football before his return to first-team action at the Madejski Stadium, it is unlikely Vaz Te will be thrown into the starting XI against Norwich City on New Year's Day. However, the Portuguese said he is desperate to contribute if required.
"I'm not sure I am ready to start yet. I have only trained the past week and I didn't play any games before. I played for 20 minutes at Reading and it was quite hard, so I'm just going to keep training to get my fitness as quick as possible.
"I will do my best if the gaffer decides to put me on. Personally, I don't think I'm ready to start a game but if that's the gaffer's choice I will always do my best, like I said."
Whether he features or not against the Canaries, Vaz Te believes West Ham can take heart from their second-half showing at Reading going into their New Year's Day fixture.
"We started out sloppy but the second half was much better. As the game went on, Reading got really tired and they opened up a bit more and we got opportunities - we just failed to score.
"They could have gone in and we would be celebrating, but they didn't and we're left disappointed."